Entries are open for the Sport Industry Awards 2013 - with three new categories and a public vote added to the industry’s flagship celebration of commercial achievement in sport.
The UK sport industry will come together in London on May 2 to champion, celebrate and reward the top performers in the industry for their work in marketing, PR, sponsorship, talent management, advertising, community investment and branding.
Would-be winners have until December 7 to submit their entries across the 15 categories that make up the Sport Industry Awards - including three new awards launched due to public demand.
The Sport Industry Group, eager to further improve the event, has conducted a lengthy review process over the past few months.
It has included both in-depth focus groups with leading figures from across the industry and a wider online survey conducted by Kantar Media, the official research partner of the Sport Industry Awards.
In response to that feedback, among other changes to this year’s Sport Industry Awards is the addition of weighted criteria in the coveted Sport Agency of the Year category, which will also for the first time require agencies to demonstrate staff development as part of their business growth, alongside a focus on the creativity, innovation, first class strategy and overall high performance that remains central to the industry’s success.
Each existing category that has kept its place in the Sport Industry Awards 2013 has been rated an important part of the line up by those taking part in the review, while the three new categories have been repeatedly nominated for inclusion.
Both focus groups and the survey called for the introduction of a dedicated award to recognise the rising influence of social media and, as a result, the Sport Industry Group is delighted to announce the 2013 awards programme will include a new Award for Best Use of Social Media.
Likewise, there was an overwhelming call from the industry for an award to recognise success in experiential marketing and fan experience, which will be rewarded in the Best Live Experience category and is open to live events, experiential campaigns and hospitality programmes.
Finally, in a year when the country’s leading sporting stars have won medals, broken records and lifted trophies, those who represent them will be rewarded in another new category - Best Management of a Sportsperson - designed to reward outstanding performance from those who work to maximise the success of the UK’s star athletes.
Nick Keller, chairman of the Sport Industry Group, says: “Throughout our discussions this summer more than a dozen suggestions for new categories were put forward, but the three areas the industry kept coming back to were the rise of social media, the fantastic experiential marketing work being carried out and the importance to our star athletes of guidance from their agents and representatives.
“These new Sport Industry Awards categories will allow the industry to recognise the leading performers in those vital areas.”
More than 50 industry professionals will contribute to more than 60 hours of judging throughout a process overseen by Deloitte, the independent scrutineer of the Sport Industry Awards.
But for the first time in 2013, the wider industry and general public will also be able to vote on the winner of a Sport Industry Award, with the ultimate winner of the Best TV Sport Commercial category to be decided by an online public vote.
Keller adds: “Kantar Media’s research found that 86 per cent of respondents in favour of adding a public vote to the Sport Industry Awards believed it should be in the Best TV Sport Commercial category, and our conversations with the industry reinforced that view.
“Though our stringent and transparent judging process, fully overseen by Deloitte, remains at the heart of the Sport Industry Awards, the Olympic year seems a very appropriate time to open up an element of that process to the wider public.
“We look forward to seeing what has impressed them most this year.”
Other official partners of the Sport Industry Awards include Barclays and Eurosport.